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Holidays are giving time for St. Clair Twp. police

Beaver Local student Peyton Pew is the beneficiary of the St. Clair Township’s No Shave November proceeds this year. Pictured from left, are officers Joshua Jackson, Anthony Gentry, Pew, his father Christopher, and officers James Briggs and James Cannon. Pew is currently on a kidney transplant list. (Photo by Stephanie Ujhelyi)

CALCUTTA — Community is a big focus of the St. Clair Police Department, and the need has been magnified as officers attempt to serve on another front in the middle of a pandemic.

Bitten by the holiday spirit, November and December are usually pretty active months for many to try and give back, but 2020 has thrown in a few curve balls this year, St. Clair Police Chief Brian McKenzie cannot help but acknowledge.

Once again, the department did its No Shave November effort, which in the past has been a fundraiser to raise cancer awareness. However, this year, the department threw 2020 a curve ball of its own, donating their funds raised to a Beaver Local eighth-grade students who currently undergoes dialysis while he waits for a kidney transplant.

Peyton Pew suffers from Alport syndrome, which is a genetic disorder that affects only one in 10,000 children, causing end-stage kidney disease and hearing loss. The ailment is caused by an inherited mutation in the body’s type IV collagen, which is found in the kidneys, ears and eyes’ normal function.

The suggestion came from a Beaver Local teacher, explained McKenzie, who said that much of the money came from district teachers and staff as well as local businesses.

The St. Clair Township Police Department’s angel tree now stands bare in its lobby, awaiting the return of its tags and accompanying gifts. The tags were claimed a mere 24 hours after being hung for the children. (Photo by Stephanie Ujhelyi)

As part of No Shave November, each one of the department’s officers raised $100.

Pew is getting assistance from the Children’s Organ Transplant Association, which is a non-profit organization that helps by providing fundraising assistance and family support.

“I have a good group of guys, and we had great community support,” Chief McKenzie added.

To make a donation to Pew’s effort, visit his fundraising page at https://cota.org/campaigns/cotaforpeytonsbattle.

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That wasn’t the only good deeds for the department in the fall.

K-9 handler Joshua Jackson and his colleagues also raised $1,200 for the About The Warrior Foundation, which is based in Wexford, Pa., by each doing 22 pushups live on their Facebook page. The 22 is representative of the fact that an average of 22 veterans daily commit suicide, stemming from their military service.

Jackson said that he chose this non-profit, because it helps veterans in the greater East Liverpool area and provides counseling, medical care and excursions for his former comrades.

Jackson is a U.S. Army veteran of the Middle Eastern theater.

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In addition, December brings along the department’s annual effort on behalf of the area’s youth.

Herman Potts, who is an administrative assistant at the department, said that toys continue to come in as part of their toy drive collection, which will continue from 11 a m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 5 at Brooks Hearth and Home, 15251 state Route 170; and Sunday, Dec. 6, at Walmart on Dresden or Alcatraz and McKinney’s, 16136 state Route 170.

They also will be collecting toys at Dollar General, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Dec. 6 at the state Route 267 location and 1 to 3 p.m. Dec. 6 at the state Route 170 location.

When donors bring their toys and receipts into Alcatraz, they receive a ticket for every $10 spent that can be placed in either a drawing to either win a free tattoo valued between $100 and $50 or a Smith and Wesson firearm. The firearm contest winner must be able to pass the background check to win the prize. There are no transfers of the firearm ownership to anyone other than the person whose name is drawn.

These toys, like the ones being collected by East Liverpool police, will be donated to the Elks’ annual Christmas event for distribution.

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On top of everything, cops still will be doing Shop With A Cop this year, although the pandemic affected their fundraising ability and impacted the actual shopping day with the children that has become customary.

Earlier this fall the department set up an angel tree, hanging a tag for each one of the featured children on there in the station lobby, Within 24 hours, Potts explained that all tags were claimed and those, along the gifts, will be returned for delivery.

Anyone interested in assisting with St. Clair police, their Fraternal Order of Police local’s holiday efforts or the Pew fundraiser can reach the department at 330-386-3585 between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. weekdays.

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